Population numbers for languages
Posted: Sat May 12, 2018 9:19 am
I'm working with this one project and I'm trying to find out how many people speak certain languages. This is of course really hard because of various problems with counting speakers, but it would be nice to have at least some kind of figures. There are some languages for which I have found absolutely no statistics, so I'm wondering if anyone here might know something. Preferrably I want figures for both L1 and L2 speakers separated, but if there's no better data, I'll have to settle for combined numbers, or anything you might have.
- Hokkien (Quanzhang), all dialects, but excluding other varieties of Minnan. WP says 37 million, but it doesn't cite the source. I suspect they've pulled that number from Ethnologue, where it says that all varieties of Minnan together are spoken by 37 million people in mainland China.
- (Standard) Cantonese, excluding other varieties of Yue.
- Latin. The only thing I can find when googling is that apparently some pope or someone has said that he estimates that there are only 100 people who are as fluent in Latin as he is. But that seems like a very strict definition of fluency. I mean, just counting all the Latin teachers out there, there must be more than 100. Surely one must be able to say that at least they "know" Latin well.
- Ancient Greek. I haven't found the slightest guesstimate. Now, being dead languages, Latin and Ancient Greek probably don't have any L1 speakers, but you never know. There are supposed to be some people who are teaching their children Cornish as their first languages, and then there was that one case of a kid who was taught Klingon. But L2 numbers are of course more important for Latin and AG.